Shelby County Schools looks to rebrand as ‘Memphis-Shelby County Schools’

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 10:44 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Shelby County School Board has a big decision to make Jan. 25 on whether or not to recommend a name change for the district.

That means changing everything from signage to business cards.

It started as Memphis City Schools, then Shelby County Schools (SCS), and now there’s a proposal on the table to combine the two titles, making yet another name change for the district to Memphis-Shelby County Schools.

“Reimagining 901 incorporates a name change that reflects our geographic location and the families we serve,” said Jerica Phillips, SCS chief of communications.

Phillips said 80% of SCS students live within Memphis city limits. Now, they’re looking for a new name to reflect that and raise the profile of the largest school district in Tennessee.

“So, again we are raising our profile. “We’re looking at funding bodies from local, state, and national entities and often times people say where is Shelby County? Who is that? So, that is another part of the reflection of Memphis in this name change,” Phillips explained.

The proposal is getting positive reviews from school board members who will vote on the measure later this month.

Board member Althea Greene said via text, “I love the name Memphis-Shelby County Schools!”

Board member Stephanie Love said she anticipates more information. She texted, “I’ve always questioned the current name of SCS, knowing a majority of the schools are inside Memphis. I am currently waiting on a full presentation and timeline to view.”

Love also wants details about how much a new rebranding campaign could cost and where the money would come from.

“This will not distract from our core business, which is education and the district has already set aside funds,” Phillips said. “So, we’re not asking for any additional money. There will be no ask or request for funds. It’s all a part of our marketing initiative that we have already gotten approved.”

Phillips could not immediately give specific numbers of how much this campaign would cost or how much money was already set aside for marketing.

We’re told they’re still in the inventory stage.

During a 2021 district confidence survey, 83% of respondents agreed or were neutral about a name change.

If this new name change is approved, SCS will start doing business as Memphis-Shelby County Schools. The legal name will still remain Shelby County Board of Education.

This entire rebranding process could take up to five years.

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